Fire!  Fire!!  Fire!!!

By John Pierre | May 30, 2013

Those shouted words cause stout hearts to skip a few beats and at least one person to reach for a phone to call 911.   A fire truck is dispatched immediately.

But that's not all these fine, talented men and women do to make life better for citizens.  While I dislike the me-me-me approach to life or the writing of a column for that matter.  I feel the need to relate a personal story to emphasize my feelings about our Edmonds fire fighters.

Some months back I began to lose almost all of the strength in my legs and arms.  I didn't realize that it was the onset of a debilitating medical condition that would worsen as time progressed.

Soon I found myself frequently slipping or tripping and ending up on the floor, unable to get up.  I had to frequently call 911 for the "aid wagon" from Edmonds Fire Station 16 ("Snohomish Country Fire District 1).

Noticing my lack of ability with stairs, our children were thoughtful enough to procure and install one of those "stair lift" chairs, which made life much easier for me.

On one occasion however I inadvertently neglected to flip the seat down and sat myself uncomfortably on the frame of the lift.  In my haste to get up to rectify my error, I lost my balance and fell down the flight of stairs with my head making solid contact with the tile landing.

Once again, the crew from Station 16 was called and helped me to my feet.  Though a sizeable lump appeared on my head, I convinced the attending fire fighters that I needed no additional attention.

I told them I was okay and declined their offer to take me to the emergency room and thought no more of it.

Eight or nine days later I had another problem that related to falling, and Fire Station 16 was called again but this time they insisted on transporting me to the emergency room.  That just may have saved my life as the many tests revealed some bleeding in my head.

I was immediately transported to Swedish Cherry Hill where there is reputedly one the better teams of neurosurgeons in Greater Seattle.

Though I was on the ragged edge of not surviving on my arrival there, they managed to get the cranial bleeding stopped without surgery.  After a few days in ICU and a few more in a closely monitored regular room, I was transferred to ManorCare in Lynnwood to recover enough strength to get around with a cane; 10 or 12 days later, I was released and allowed to go home.

The upshot of it is, I am convinced that I owe my life to the fantastic people at Edmonds Fire Station 16.

It was because of their take-charge insistence that I'm still here to write for the Beacon.  I have the greatest respect and appreciation for them.

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